Video testimonials – one of the best possible marketing tools for any community – yet ridiculously costly, painfully time consuming and therefore, virtually impossible to achieve for the average senior living community to manage. Well not anymore!

By Pam McDonald

Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful trust signals you can use in your marketing. Persuasive testimonials from satisfied customers can sway even the most hesitant prospects . . . . – Dan Shewan,

All the senior living sales and marketing directors I’ve worked with over the years recognize the power of testimonials. They try to get positive quotes about their community from residents, family members, professional referral sources, and other local influencers.

But, getting video testimonial . . . that’s never been easy. I’ve arranged and conducted hundreds of photo/video shoots in the past 30 years. Typically, it takes me about two solid weeks to plan and prepare them, and the costs range from $2,500 to $3,500. Not a budget item most communities want to take on more than every two years or so.

That’s meant, unfortunately, that most communities do without video testimonials. However, the app from OneDay for Senior Living, a Senior Housing Forum partner, has changed this completely.

Branded Videos in Minutes

With this powerful app for mobile devices you can create and share videos in minutes. That’s so astounding, so let me say it again: Once a user sets up his or her account, it’s a matter of point, shoot, and voila, you’ve got usable, shareable, branded video testimonial.

After you’ve recorded your spot, you click “Create a movie”, and the OneDay app does any needed editing, adds your community and/or company logo, and renders a branded video right before your eyes.

Using this app means that whenever an opportunity arises, without a lot of preparatory folderol, you can capture video testimonial to use on your website (OneDay even provides clients a webpage), on social media, and in email to residents, families, prospects, and potential referral sources.

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

But hold your horses, cowboy . . . to capture video that’s more than merely “useable”, you should know – and use – some photography/videography basics. The following are the three most important tips for getting started. Watch for more detailed guidelines in subsequent months.

Make Your Talent Comfortable

You want your interviewees calm and relaxed so they can show their best, authentic selves. So, use all your rapport-building skills to put them at ease and model some behavior. While you’re explaining what you’re going to do, take some deep breaths, smile with your eyes and the corners of your mouth.

You can ask them to think of someone they really like and say, “Look at me and pretend you’re talking talking with Sally (or the name of the friend they identified). You’re just having a casual conversation with her.”

Ask them a leading question, like “What do you like best about your home here?” The OneDay app has tons of questions you can use to get the conversational ball rolling and, of course, you can come up with your own starters.

Lighting Is Everything

You’re going to be working with available light so location is vitally important. The brightest light source should be behind you – indoors, but most importantly outdoors. A room with a lot of windows should work well, and you can augment it with lamps on either side and behind your subject for filler.

Consider the Background

You’re holding your mobile device horizontally so it wider than it is high. Before you call for action, look at your entire viewfinder. What’s going on in the background? Try to place your subject in front of a clean, plain wall – no busy wallpaper, no sconces growing out of their head, no hectic or detailed artwork.

A solid-colored wall is what you’re looking for. If your subject is wearing light clothes, you want a darker background. If they’re in darker clothes, a light background will give you the best contrast. Don’t be shy about getting close to whoever you’re interviewing. The more of their face you show, the better. It’s all about them, after all.

Take a deep breath, tuck your elbow into your waist, steady your camera, and hit “record”. OneDay can accommodate any length film, but 1-3 minutes is best. When you’ve gotten a complete answer, stop recording, click “Make a move,” and your video testimonials is in the can. Happy shooting.

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